On the 3rd of July I went on a boat trip. It was organised by Charissa, ‘Dolphin Lady’, who had connected with her brother and Kim from ‘Shark Lady’, in Hermanus. The purpose of this boat trip was to take footage on the boat as a second part to the video that I wanted to make and to personally go out to sea and experience a reconnection or a deeper connection with the ocean, feeling it’s rhythms and possibly, see a dolphin or a whale.
We met in Hermanus early in the morning where we departed on a boat called ‘The Playa’. Our boat trip started with breathing on the boat and getting used to the rhythm of the water. We spent 4 hours out at sea and it was breathtakingly beautiful. We did not see any dolphins, but we were visited by two Southern Right Whales and their young, and we were also visited by two seals who decided to follow the boat and perform for us inside the water, which meant great footage for me to use. I listened to the stories of the skippers and their experience with these incredible majestic animals. I learnt about poachers, I heard the story of Kim ‘Shark Lady’ and her passion for sharks, I learnt about the unimaginable amounts of waste and illegal sewerage dumping that these skippers comes across out at sea. I took some footage of the banners on the boat, then I recorded the stories that the skippers, Charissa and Kim had to tell about their experience with the whales and the dolphins.
Besides learning what everyone else had to teach me, I also learnt from these magical beings under the sea and it brought me personal healing:
A whale can deal with extreme pressure. It needs to surface for air, but can go further down into the ocean than most of marine life, thus to me, they represent ‘deep anchors’. I struggle sometimes to make connections between experiences, what I learn from them and how to communicate that to others. Sometimes the things I say seem random, disconnected and even creates confusion. I can dream so much sometimes that I become disconnected. However, if I allow the experiences that I have to anchor itself as deeply in me as the whales dive into the depths of the sea, then it is easier to make those connections, I become more anchored in my body and I can create clarity for myself and for others.
This trip was valuable in so many different ways and I am so grateful to Kim, Charissa, the skippers, and our beautiful ocean and its marine life. A deeper connection was achieved. I am an ambassador for the life under the sea and a voice through which they can speak.
Shelani van Niekerk